Ukiyo, Neal Brown’s Latest, Begins December Bookings

The well-known chef and restaurateur took over Recess’s space along College Avenue, the spot vacated with Greg Hardesty’s retirement.

Neal Brown, owner and operator of popular Indianapolis-area restaurants Pizzology, Libertine Liquor Bar, and Stella, announced earlier this year his latest concept: Ukiyo, a Japanese farmhouse bistro. Since the announcement, the chef has been busy teasing Instagram followers with his test recipes while remodeling the Recess restaurant space once owned by his fellow chef and mentor, Greg Hardesty.

Brown announced today that Ukiyo has begun accepting bookings for December, when the restaurant is set to open. Bookings are accepted in one of two formats: a general reservation for an a la carte menu, which offers what Brown calls “a thoughtfully curated menu inspired by the seasons, the land, the sea, and the sky,” and a reservation-only Omakase booking that is exclusive to the sushi bar. The latter comes with an $85 per person booking fee and is limited to 1–4 guests.

“Omakase” is a Japanese phrase meaning “I’ll leave it up to you,” which, when applied to sushi restaurants, means the decision of the guests’ menu is left up to the chef. Or as Brown points out on the booking website, “The chef will alleviate you of the burden of decision making.” With Brown’s success and our praise for Stella, no doubt guests at Ukiyo are in for an experience. 4907 N. College Ave., Tues.–Thurs., 11 a.m.–3 p.m., 5–10 p.m.; Fri.–Sat., 11 a.m.–3 p.m., 5–10:30 p.m.